Ross Clark

Ross Clark

Ross Clark is a leader writer and columnist who has written for The Spectator for three decades. His books include Not Zero and The Road to Southend Pier.

Ross Clark

Hate people? Visit Iceland

No-one seems to like tourists any more. This week Venice introduced its €5 entry charge – which merely buys you the right to go into the city and be ripped off by cafes and restaurants. On Tenerife, residents have been marching and daubing slogans on the walls ‘tourist – go home’. So much for free

Brexit has not made food unaffordable

Imagine that for the past 30 years all food entering Britain from EU countries had been subject to stringent sanitary checks and that today, for the first time, the government had decided to abolish those checks. It isn’t hard to guess how the Labour party would react. The government, it would be claiming, was throwing

Why didn’t the Tories nationalise the railways?

The Conservatives can crow all they like about the benefits of privatisation – and make whatever claims they like about tickets being more expensive, and services worse, were the railways to be brought back under public ownership. But there is little getting away from the fact that Labour’s policy of progressive renationalisation of train services by

Who will pay the price for the boost in defence spending?

Rishi Sunak’s announcement that the government will increase defence spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP has been warmly welcomed, but how much is it really going to transform the UK’s military? Former armed services minister James Heappey was quick to scotch expectations this morning when he said it wouldn’t necessarily be enough to reverse falls

What happened to the Tory promise to balance the budget?

There is one big reason why a summer general election is unlikely, however tempted the Prime Minister might be to try to take advantage of the first migrant flight to Rwanda. Read between the lines and it is clear that Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt want to hold another ‘fiscal event’ before going to the

Labour should think twice before taxing pensioners

Labour, according to Rachel Reeves, is now the party of low taxes. She has said she won’t raise income tax, National Insurance, capital gains tax and corporation tax, as well as ruling out a wealth tax. But that still leaves a few options for jacking up taxes, as one of Reeves’ advisers, Sir Edward Troup

Ross Clark

Smart meters could soon cost you a whole lot more

What remarkable power climate change has to turn the usual rules of fairness on their head. The poor pay the taxes and the wealthy get subsidised. It has happened with electric cars, where well-off early adopters were handed grants of £4,000 to buy a new vehicle – as well as being excused fuel duty and

Why one-man plays are all the rage

Well, it’s nice to feel on trend. The Today programme this morning carried an item on the popularity of one-man and one-woman theatre shows, following on from the success of two such shows in the Olivier Awards: Sarah Snook in The Picture of Dorian Gray and Andrew Scott in Vanya. Only in passing did they

Are we really reaching ‘farmaggedon’?

I happened to be walking in the Cambridgeshire fens this morning while listening to the latest instalment of ‘farmageddon’ – the narrative that Britain is facing food shortages due to biblical levels of rain over the winter. There was something of a conflict between the sight before my eyes with what Rachel Hallos, vice president

The irresponsibility of ‘two years to save the planet’

Hurrah, we can all relax. We have been granted an extra two years to save the planet. So suggested Simon Stiell, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in a speech at Chatham House yesterday. Some people might say that calling a speech ‘two years to save the planet’ might be

Ross Clark

The truth about ‘boardroom diversity’

We all know that increasing the diversity of your boardroom increases the success of your company because politicians, business leaders and academics keep telling us so. No one has ever got into trouble for making this assertion and, in any case, we have the scientific evidence to prove it – in the form of four

Sadiq Khan’s Ulez has spectacularly backfired

What was that about Sadiq Khan’s expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) supposedly helping to reduce our dependence on cars and clean up the air? As well as the stick of charges of non-compliant vehicles, Khan has rolled out a very large carrot: £121 million of funds to help motorists ‘transition to greener

What’s the truth about Sure Start?

Labour, unsurprisingly, is crowing about a paper published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies claiming that Tony Blair’s Sure Start centres improved the GCSE results of children from low-income families a decade after attending the centres. Children who lived within 2.5 km of a Sure Start Centre before 5, it finds, went on to score

Ross Clark

The problem with Rachel Reeves’s non-dom tax plan

By abolishing non-dom status, Jeremy Hunt was supposed to have clipped the wings of the shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves. Given that she had already earmarked the extra revenue – or what she hoped would be extra revenue – for free school breakfasts and a few other things, Hunt had suddenly punched a hole in her

Don’t trust Labour to build houses

Could a promise of more housebuilding win an election, or does the Nimby vote still rule the shires? Labour, it seems, has decided the former. The Times reports this morning that it has settled on a strategy of unashamedly promising more house-building, including on the green belt, after research by an outside organisation revealed that